ICC Emerging Player Award is an honour that is given every year to one young promising cricketer who did well in a calendar season. Started in 2004, Irfan Pathan was the first recipient of this prize. Players like Kevin Pietersen, Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara have all won this award.
However, there have been a few cricketers who bagged this prize but could not make it big in their individual careers. We have seen plenty of promising U19 cricketers who just could not make their senior debut. Similarly, these recipients of the ICC Emerging Player Award could not stand long in the playing XI of their countries. We look at five such players in this article.
1) Shaun Tait – 2007
The way he started his career, many felt that Shaun Tait would become one of the legends of the game. However, at the time of retirement, the express-pace bowler had just played 3 Tests, 35 ODI’s and 21 T20I’s for his country. He was Australia’s best bowler at the 2007 World Cup, but after that, he failed to find success. His urge to always bowl quick took a physical toll on him. At the age of 25, he decided that he would not play first-class cricket. Barring a few decent stints in the BBL, Tait was never seen again in the big league.
2) Steven Finn – 2010
It was in 2010 that Steven Finn won this award. At that time, he looked to be England’s best bet in the pace department for years to come. However, an attempt to change the delivery style happened and Finn lost his way in his career. At the moment, he has played 36 Tests, 69 ODI’s and 21 T20I’s for his nation. Although his stats speak well of him, it is unfortunate that it did not last long.
3) Devendra Bishoo – 2011
Devendra Bishoo broke into the scene after a wonderful season in the domestic circuit. He also did well in the first few games, because of which, he won the ICC Emerging Player Award. However, there was immense pressure on him to deliver since he was a traditional leg-spinner, the kind of player West Indies was missing for a long time. This took a toll on his body and eventually, Bishoo did not play international cricket for three years. Hence, he also features in this list.
4) Gary Ballance – 2014
Gary Ballance was off to a flier in his international career. In the first few games themselves, the player struck hundreds easily and caught the eye of the fans. His records in the first few games matched the stats of the legends like Andrew Strauss. However, the player saw his international career spiral downwards soon. At the moment, he has played 23 Tests and 16 ODI’s and being of 31 years, he still has a chance to improve his record.
5) Ajantha Mendis – 2008
Now, who does not remember the player that Ajantha Mendis was? He was impactful in all the forms of the game, and everyone who saw him bowl predicted that he would follow the footsteps of Muthiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath. Yes, Mendis was good at the start but just could not be consistent. Once batsmen started picking him, Mendis became ineffective. He is not at all in the scene right now.